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On August 12, 2023, a massive explosion occurred in Plum Borough, a normally quiet suburb about 20 miles east of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The massive blast tragically resulted in six fatalities, and the destruction or damage of numerous houses in the Rustic Ridge housing development.
It was the second such explosion in just over a year in the community, the third since 2008, and the fifth since the mid-1990s. In this analysis, we explore factors related to oil and gas development that could contribute to why houses have a history of exploding in this Pittsburgh suburb.